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Fifty Nine Varieties of Paradise

Accession Number
2000/2.14.31

Title
Fifty Nine Varieties of Paradise

Artist(s)
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi

Artist Nationality
British (modern)

Object Creation Date
1965 - 1970

Medium & Support
photolithograph on paper

Dimensions
14 15/16 in x 10 in (37.94 cm x 25.4 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Professor Diane M. Kirkpatrick

Subject matter
Like many of his contemporaries, Paolozzi used new printing techniques as a way to engage with modern mass media's new visual culture. At the same time, the photomechanical process made the work look mechanically manufactured rather than hand made, in the traditional artistic sense. Therefore, when he modified, transformed, assemped the source image(s), the medium would allow for a more uniform final image.

This print is one of a large series of 50 prints included in the 1970 portfolio, which was a second edition of the an earlier group of slightly larger prints titled "Moonstrips Empire News." While the first series was strictly produced as screenprints, this second series "General Dynamic F.U.N." includes works of photolithography, like this one. The themes seen in this portfolio are different in style and subject matter from other Pop works of the period, but engage with the images of a modern mass media, looking beyond just advertising and publicity images. Likewise, the title of the portfolio alludes to the General Dynamics Corporation, who was the manufacturer of the F-111 fighter used during the Vietnam War—the same one referenced in James Rosenquist monumental painting "F-111."

As the title alludes, the promise of paradise in American, symbolized by the Statue of Liberty, is at play in this work. The shiny consumer goods and iconic imagery are juxtaposed with the deadpan monochromatic composition to create a satirical look at the American Dream. The screws and nuts in the lower image, likely from a purchasing catalog, and the motorcycle above point to the adherence to material goods in the pursuit of such a dream; a dream that the little boy in the crown in Lady Liberty might still believe in.

Physical Description
This print has three main images all printed in a monochromatic grey. At the top is an image of a man, in a tweed coat and fur hat, polishing a motorcycle. The scene is from a pier. The sign says "GANGWAY 1," with the ocean and the Statue of Liberty in the background. The central image is a detail of the face of the Statue of Liberty, with a small boy visible in her crown. The bottom image is more abstracted shapes from a dot-matrix image.

Primary Object Classification
Print

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
Pop (fine arts styles)
motorcycles
photolithographs
screws
statues
tweed

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& Author Notes

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